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4:Play: A Contemporary Cocktail of Erotic Short Stories

4:Play: A Contemporary Cocktail of Erotic Short Stories, is a compilation of short erotic stories designed to whip its readers into an erotic frenzy. This goal is only mildly achieved. Jess C. Scott’s use of modern formatting and writing style often bogs the reader down in trying to figure out who is speaking in a story, causing the erotic material to get lost.

In the first story, “Black Velvet,” the author uses copies of instant messenger and text message conversations throughout the story. These often become confusing and difficult to read along with all of the contemporary language short cuts used within the conversations between the characters. Perhaps this is an indication that this reader is more of a traditionalist, because I still do not fully understand what LOL or ROFL mean.

The themes used throughout 4:Play appear to be more about shock value than eroticism. The story “Wicked Lovely” is about a brother and sister pair locked in passion, while “Devilin Fey” has a sort of macabre feel that makes it difficult to connect with for me. The section titled “Appetizers” contains short poems or texts that fail to deliver erotically and only made me feel like an awkward voyeur. Overall, the stories at the beginning of the book are somewhat steamy, but as the collection continues the momentum is becomes lost and fizzles.

Throughout the book the use of mixed pacing methods with email, text, letters, and journals within one story at times make this a difficult book to read. 4:Play is for those who enjoy this type of mixed pacing and use of modern, contemporary language; however, if you prefer more traditional writing, themes, and language choices or a good quick read with lots of steamy content, this is a book to avoid. The material is more like a slow burn with no real climax.

Written by: Jenny Greenfield, January 4th 2010

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